(Eurasianet) A senior adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump is visiting the Caucasus, where he is expected to try to enlist the region’s three governments in Washington’s campaign of isolating Iran. But leaders in the Caucasus, wary of confronting Tehran, will likely instead be promoting their own interests to an administration that has thus far largely neglected the region.
National Security Adviser John Bolton is scheduled to arrive in Baku on October 24, before visiting Yerevan and Tbilisi. It will be the highest-profile visit yet by a Trump administration official to all three countries of the Caucasus. None of the three currently has a U.S. ambassador, and policymakers have complained of a lack of American engagement. […]
In Tbilisi, Georgian government officials are unlikely to want to get drawn into a U.S.-Iran conflict, instead preferring to keep the agenda focused on issues like security cooperation, said Kornely Kakachia, the director of the Georgian Institute of Politics.
“Georgia remains a steadfast supporter of U.S. initiatives,” Kakachia told Eurasianet. “However, due to permanent pressure from Russia it can’t endanger its national interest, which seeks pragmatic and balanced relations with Iran. So, as in the last decade, Tbilisi will try to find a delicate balance between its regional interests and those of the West.”
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